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Given is looking to revive his career at Villa Park
We take a look at the Top 5 summer signings so far in the Premier League including Shay Given, Ashley Young and Charlie Adam.

Shay Given  Manchester City - Aston Villa (£3.5m)

Easily one of the signings of the summer so far.

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper has signed a five-year deal at Villa Park after being consigned to the bench at Manchester City for much of last season, unfortunately being one of two world class 'keepers in the squad at Eastlands, behind Joe Hart.

For £3.5m, Shay Given is a steal for Alex Mcleish in the current climate of British football. Given has no end of ability and the Villa defence will grow in confidence knowing that they have such a talented and experienced player behind them if anything goes wrong.

The likes of Edwin Van Der Sar and Brad Friedel have already shown that goalkeepers only improve with age and it is almost certain that Given will jump on the bandwagon and strike this point home even further over the coming seasons at Villa Park.

The pressure is still firmly on Mcleish to perform at Villa Park after his controversial cross-city move from Birmingham over the summer but Given putting pen to paper would have settled a few nerves after the recent departures of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, easily Villa's two stand-out performers last season.

Mcleish will obviously have to bring in a few more quality players if Villa are to improve and not head deeper into trouble with inevitable uproar by the fans if it did, but with the experienced Given and numerous quality players already stationed at Villa Park, there is less of a reason to worry than some may think.


Ashley Young
  Aston Villa - Manchester United (£17m)

Just one of many top quality captures made by Sir Alex Ferguson over the previous few seasons.

Ashley Young joins Phil Jones and David De Gea as this summer's transfer signings at Old Trafford, only slightly following the inspired signing of Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez last summer.

Young has grown steadily as a player throughout his career applying his trade for Watford and then Aston Villa, before representing England at international level more recently.

The Winger has natural ability and possesses the skill to turn defenders inside out and deliver pin-point crosses into the danger area for the likes of Hernandez, Berbatov and Rooney to latch on to. A scary thought for most Premier League defences.

Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, United seem to have lost their killer instinct from set-play situations. Free Kicks lack any invention or quality and Young will be the one player tasked with overcoming this problem. This then just adds another dimension to the already dangerous Manchester United attack and this will delight Sir Alex and the fans around Old Trafford.

It's clear that Young can perform exceptionally in the Premier League and it will be exciting to see how he develops, from an English perspective, under the wing of Sir Alex and the Manchester United backroom staff.

 
Charlie Adam  Blackpool - Liverpool (£9m)

One of the Premier League's stand-out performers last season, and quite definitely Blackpool's Star Man at Bloomfield Road.

There was no hesitation by Kenny Dalglish to snap up fellow Scotsman Adam and there is no doubt that the Anfield faithful will be relishing the chance of seeing Adam pull on the famous red Liverpool shirt alongside the likes of Gerrard, Suarez and Carroll next season.

The signing of Adam will bolster the Liverpool midfield and if Gerrard can manage to stay fit for the entire season, the Anfield side must be watched very carefully by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

The combination of Adam's skill and vision paired with Suarez and Carroll in attack could be devastating but it will be interesting to see how Adam adapts to not being the 'key player' in the side as he takes to the field with a whole host of world class players beside him. Time will tell..

Roger Johnson  Birmingham City - Wolves (£7m)

Your typical warrior at centre-back.

Johnson bravely limped through the Carling Cup Final against Arsenal, helping his Birmingham side to a 1-0 victory over the Gunners at Wembley and almost did enough to save the Blues from relegation to the Championship at the end of the season.

Mick McCarthy has quite rightly been after Johnson's signature for a few seasons now and was pipped to the post by Alex Mcleish when the Scot signed Johnson from Cardiff in 2009 for £5m. But, he now has his man and McCarthy is delighted to welcome Johnson to Molineux.

Johnson has reiterated that his decision to join Wolves was purely for his desire to stay at Premier League level and it will be interesting to see how Birmingham City fans react to his departure to their Midlands rivals.

Unless Wolves overachieve next season, it's likely that they will be involved in another relegation battle and having Johnson as a solid platform at the back will encourage McCarthy and those attacking players who shone for the Molineux side last season.

Johnson will want to ensure that he does not endure two relegations in successive seasons and it will inevitably be a long and tough season for both Johnson and everyone involved with Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

Sebastian Larsson  Birmingham City - Sundrland (FREE)

Sunderland, another side benefitting from Birmingham's mis-fortune.

Larsson has been a good servant to Birmingham over the past few years and became a fan favourite at St. Andrews but his attitude towards the middle of last season rubbed a large section of the Birmingham fan base up the wrong way with his proposed desire to leave the club.

He did show commitment towards the end of last season  to try and win back the confidence lost but with relegation for the Midlanders it was unlikely that Larsson would remain for a season in the Championship with the Blues.

Good news for the Black Cats though.
 
Larsson has a devilish cross which can cause havoc to defences throughout the Premier League and his quality from set-pieces is an added bonus.

Snatching a player with the quality of Larsson on a free transfer is a dream for Steve Bruce who has bolstered his team dramatically over the summer after last season's injury horror show.

He has brought in another ex-bluenose in Craig Gardner and that will also help Larsson fit into the set-up at the Stadium of Light with a familiar face on the training ground to work alongside.
James Pearson
7/19/2011 19:20:17

With Shay Given we will have to see. He hasn't played properly for a year and considering rumours that his contract wages are aroun 55-60k a week its a steal of a deal for the 35 year old himself. Time will tell. Mcleish does have a habit of bringing the best out of keepers. Then again he partner Andy Watson played a more important role and he is not part of the Villa set up

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